Does your doctor have a clue?

Hi Billy,

I use a One Touch Ultra Mini. I also have a Bayer Contour, and Freestyle Lite which I got just for the asking. My insurance made me get the one touch.

Do you sell strips or something? I am always interested in sources, as its obvious I will need to be buying my own not to far down the road.

John

I also wanted to mention that I buy my own strips through healthwarehouse.com and my Accu-check Aviva strips are only $48 for two sets of 50. Normally, it would cost me $100 for 100 at Wal-mart. I am not even using my health insurance to help me pay for these because it costs me less to order online than to use my insurance and pay the higher prices.

My opinion is that we are all responsible for managing our disease no matter what our doctors may say. If you can take care of your supplies without using your insurance and getting prescriptions, you should do so. I am fortunate that my doctor supports my decisions on diet and testing and is thrilled with the results. I don’t need him to give me a prescription for more strips because I buy them myself and pay a lot less.

Dan

John, as I mentioned in an earlier reply, check out healthwarehouse.com. That is where I buy my strips for my Aviva. I believe the strips for the Aviva tend to be on the more expensive end of the available meters and if I bought them through a pharmacy using my insurance, the would cost me about $100 for 100 strips. By buying them online, I get 100 for $48 with free shipping. Sames ones they sell in the stores in the same packaging and everything. But I get them for more than half price. My insurance pays all of $10 towards my strips for the Aviva so I don’t waste my time using my insurance and my doctor doesn’t have to write me out a prescription.

I don’t know about the cost of the strips for the meters you have but I can’t imagine they would be more expensive than what I pay.

Check them out. I usually get them within 3-5 business days after I order.

Dan

I just checked healthwarehouse.com and for the Contour strips, they are $25 for 50. For the One Touch Ultra they are $28 per 50 and for the Freestyle Lite, they are $33 per 50. So, all are slightly more expensive than my Aviva strips but a heck of a lot cheaper than getting them at Walmart or some other retail store.

Dan, I do the same. I found the last batch of test strips I bought online at amazon.

Check out Amazon. I was able to get 100 strips for my ultra for around $75.

Realize this is off topic, but I get syringes from healthwarehouse. Cheaper through them without using insurance then it is with my insurance co-pay buying from a pharmacy.

John, thanks for the detailed replies! Its great to read about how you’ve taken control of your diabetes and made some great progress. You’ve shown yourself to be what I would call an “elite” diabetic. For whatever reason, whether frequent testing or otherwise, you’ve improved your risk by lowering your A1C. I just have a few responses to what you’ve said, and then I promise to stop derailing your topic…

Despite the gains that you have made, the fact still remains that study after study on frequent testing in T2 diabetes has demonstrated that there is no difference between those who test frequently and those who test rarely in improving their diabetes. I’ve provided links previously, but are two more for good measure. The second study below actually found decreased quality of life in those tested more frequently.

BMJ 2004;329:754-755 (2 October), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7469.754
Home blood glucose monitoring in type 2 diabetes

Franciosi M, Pellegrini F, De Beradis G, Belfiglio M, Cavaliere D, Di Nardo B, et al. Impact of blood glucose monitoring on metabolic control and quality of life in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes Care 2001;24: 1870-7.

Of course, none of this takes away from the success you’ve had in managing your diabetes. Whatever you’re doing, its really working well for you.

But the reason I responded to this post in the beginning was the assertion that your doctor doesn’t have a clue. I think in general some of us here tend to believe that our health care providers are clueless idiots who provide nothing more than a prescription pad and who should respect our expertise as diabetics. As someone who is a few short months away from taking my boards and receiving my license to practice medicine as a PA, in addition to having T1D, I can confidently assert that most of us really over estimate what we know about this disease. New data are constantly emerging and health care practitioners must make decisions based on the best evidence. What your doctor is telling you is perfectly in line with what we know about diabetes management. If he’s failed at all, its in recognizing that you are a unique exception to a number of rules and that you may need a different approach. (I can only hope that my future patients are as dedicated as you. So far in my training I can’t say I’ve seen any thing even close).

I will step down now from my soap box, but once again I congratulate you on your success in controlling your diabetes. Keep up the good work!

Well I hear you on test strips I found cheap ones $25.00for 50Healthwarehouse.com contour assentia brand really saves me I am trying to control my BG after 3yrs on meds Eatting raw rabbit food juicing vegs.Right now its working finally losing weight take care,Wanda

I don’t sell strips but I got full coverage aswell as my job allows me to get free stuff for diabetes aswell… icould probaly get a fewhundred strips for the onetouch

Wow,

Excellent post John…

I was diagnosed just over 2 months ago so I’m just getting used to all of this. I have started a log and I’m testing myself before, 1 hour after and 2 hours after everything I eat. I am finding out exactly what spikes my numbers and so far breakfast seems to be my worst meal (I love cereal but I’m having to give that up)…

I know testing is helping me because I am now getting comfortable choosing foods/meals that are not going to spike my numbers.

Thanks again for your post!!! Paul

Tim, congrats on all your hard work coming to fruition. I am sure your life experiences will make you a better physician all the way around.

We really don’t disagree, but just look at things differently. I will stick by my original innuendo, that my doctor is clueless, especially when he looks at my 5.5 number, and says “you are making plenty of insulin” when the fact is, I am not because its only my lack of carb intake that gives me that number.

Thanks for the links, and maybe you could add your thoughts to the question I would have about what I read. I understand what some of the thinking was, but if I walked into my drs office, and he said my A1c was 7.0 and I was a diabetic, so I needed to change my lifestyle with diet and exercise, would I, or anyone else, have any success if I couldn’t test what foods were doing to me? I read the articles, and simply cannot process this kind of statement “T2’s should only need to test once a day”

As Spock would say, illogical. That is akin to taking your blood pressure once a day, and figuring its always going to be the same. If I tested an hour after a big meal, I might freak out. If I tested three or four hours after I last ate, I might think I have this thing under control, whereas neither of these scenarios are correct or proper.

I am glad to have read your perspective and to understand your position, no issues betwixt us, but if I don’t test now, when the disease appears to be fairly “minor” (if that is a good word for my numbers) then I will destroy my ability to make insulin, but constantly eating the wrong thing out of ignorance, or just plain stupidity. Then, I am going on insulin, and testing many more times a day.

I guess I have made my position clear :slight_smile: that an ounce of prevention is worth ten pounds of cure. In America, healthcare is post-damage control, when it should be all out attempts to avoid the illnesses in the first place. Not testing people over the course of their life, for diabetes, is a crime. Given the simplicity of an A1c test that, so much so that you can do it at home, the doctors should be testing in their office. Why I have to go down to the lab, wait twenty more minutes, and give a vial of blood, and then pay the lab fees and another doctor visit fee to get the results, when his nurse could do it in the exam room in a matter of minutes, completely eludes me.

I had a stroke several years ago, and being uninsured, Iearned quickly how much things cost. You name it, I got it, from MRI to a heart stress test. The stress test is the treadmill before and after a heart ultrasound. It cost me $1200.

Doctors are happy to look up your prostate, but why do we not get a stress test for our cardio systems once or twice as we age? The sheer increase in the numbers would drive the cost down to very affordable, it gives a lot of information about our hearts and the cardio condition, but instead, we get pills to “clear out our arteries” and then get in line for a triple bypass, or worse, the cost of which way far exceeds the cost of a stress test. Treating the symptoms is something American healthcare does well. Taking care of the diseases, is something American healthcare seems to have little inclination to bother with.

Even dental insurers have figured out that unreal amounts of money can be saved if they offer free, or very inexpensive cleaning and x-rays once or twice a year. They know that its cheaper to do that, than replace your teeth one at a time over your lifetime. I wish medical doctors were as proactive.

I will grant you that many patients simply won’t, and that is their choice. What grinds on me is doctors who seem more willing to wait till my A1c climbs back into the high 6’s and even 7’s, and then they will be happy to give me all the strips I want.

I see the paradox. Many won’t test anyway, many will obsess but I also see that as a poor excuse not to allow those who see the advantage, to use the tools at our disposal. In many cases, it may not work. People who want to work at it, and control it, and knock it down good and hard, should be allowed to do just that.

In my case, I am betting the farm that my A1c number comes in at the low 6’s next time, with me testing once or twice a day at the most, and that is a shame.

However, I enjoy being able to discuss it. These forums are about the only place to have a rational disagreement or discussion.

I get the same thing with my participation in the VW Vanagon forums. Just no one in my circle of friends and acquaintances who even know what a Vanagon is, so thank goodness for forums where other drives hang out and talk! :slight_smile:

Thanks much,

John

My CNP is for the most part wonderful. I go to a Native American Clinic, being the token white woman as I say. They have a wonderful diabetic program complete with education, diagnosis, testing, counselors, dieticians, exercise rooms…I can’t find a better place for me and my diabetes in South Dakota, I don’t believe. I have a team, that I have hand picked and they for the most part work together, and when they don’t, I get ornery. I think it’s vital that we find a team of people who will be there to answer questions, support, educate, and tolerate us. If not, then they shouldn’t be on your team; it’s your body, ultimately, and your choices to make. Use them as guides, not superior beings. For as I have found out, this isn’t rocket science, and each of us are different. They aren’t in our bodies, we have to tell them how we are doing…and they can and should take the time to listen and respond.